By Tonny Wandella

Haunting giggles of ancient saints locked up in sculptors,
Or the blessed aura flecked with confessed sins
Of forgiven flocks, are all housed in an empty cathedral near town.
Whose bell has a gong that makes the town hide away all its weekly mischief.
I remember seeing breadcrumps being hoarded away by
Relentless ants,
Clearing a forlorn alter painted in wine and burdened with silver.
As a reminder of our wayward ways, a deity hangs on the cross above the alter: magnified by anguish and blood.
And the Brother saying all our misdeeds had been pardoned, but everyone understand it is only a week’s amnesty, well until the next gong.

When all the rows and columns have been conspicuously occupied; based on ranks and banks.
Well into the summon when a baby wails and a senior snores.
When the wind passes quite often and my sister keeps on fanning.
Well when it is time to pay our dues; a dime or tithe: it is then when the banks and ranks bloom.
And the squalor wilt in feigned meditation; cursing the devil that is lack.

I kneel, as I nibble away my bread but a lost soul, mired by my own judgement.
Blaming those malleable scriptures, worse, when the Brother’s deep desires are like a farnace, while his camouflaged intentions a hummer:
and so he shapes the WORD to appease the ranks and banks and scorn then mock the squalor.
Saying, ‘all are equal in the eyes of the lord.’

I kneel a terrible sinner as the gong comes alive with a rendition rife with melancholy.
Perhaps with an insight of the emptiness of our hometown cathedral.
And the choir rages on with a hymn; while we sing along.